The Cabot Collection, developer and operator of master-planned golf resort communities, announced today that Esther Ha and Steven Dougherty have joined the company as Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage, respectively. The pair will be based at Cabot’s first U.S. development, Cabot Citrus Farms in scenic Central West Florida, with global responsibilities for all destinations in the portfolio, including the award-winning Cabot Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Cabot Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, Cabot Revelstoke in British Columbia, and the most recently added Cabot Highlands in Scotland.
“Esther and Steven are a talented duo in the food and beverage space who understand culinary excellence and creativity, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Cabot family,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and co-founder of Cabot. “We look forward to seeing them elevate the Cabot experience across our growing portfolio with their impressive backgrounds and dedication to best-in-class cuisine. Beyond their deep understanding of food and hospitality, they each share a passion for golf, making them a natural fit for our team.”
Ha brings years of experience working in internationally acclaimed restaurants across the globe, including Café Boulud in New York City, Restaurant Den in Tokyo, and Restaurant Ester in Sydney. Most recently, she served as Executive Chef at Momofuku Ko, a two Michelin star restaurant guided by the Japanese kaiseki tradition in New York City. As Executive Chef at Cabot, Ha will create food and beverage dining concepts and oversee menus for all Cabot properties. Her responsibilities also include building the food sourcing strategy, hiring and training culinary staff, and working with each property to ensure the strategic vision of Cabot is executed to the highest standards. Ha was named Rising Star Chef 2023 from StarChefs and awarded Steelite’s Art of Plating Award 2023 for New York City. Outside of her culinary expertise, Ha is an avid golfer who played competitively in high school and college.
“I’m excited to join the Cabot team as Executive Chef,” said Ha. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to blend my passions together to create lasting food memories on and off the golf course. Whether it’s a gator breakfast sandwich in Florida or a lobster roll in Nova Scotia, the cuisine will reflect each destination using local ingredients and traditions.”
Dougherty joins Cabot as the Director of Food and Beverage with over 10 years of hospitality experience, most recently at Room 11 Hospitality Group as Corporate General Manager and Wine Director for Box House Events and MADRE, which earned a Michelin Plate Award just one year after opening. He spent his early career at Hermann J Wiemer Vineyard and later served as an assistant winemaker at Cornell University. Dougherty will execute food and beverage concepts, build menus, and ensure exceptional hospitality, service and dining experiences for Cabot guests. From a cocktail program that will pay homage to the classics while incorporating innovative flair, to a wine list that will feature the great regions of the world and the roads less traveled, there will be something for every occasion. A golf aficionado, Dougherty was a collegiate golfer and enjoys spending time on the links when not creating new drinks and dishes.
“Cabot brings together some of my favorite things in life—world class golf, delicious food and beverages and a group of inspiring people,” said Dougherty. “The company has a family feel to it, and I look forward to bringing that universally welcoming feeling to the dining and service experience.”